NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Attempts to save a 26-year-old Port Orange woman who lost control of her car and ended up submerged in a pond in the Venetian Bay community the afternoon of Oct. 27, 2014, proved fruitless.
Sarah Marx was later identified later in the day as the driver and drowning victim in the 11 a.m. Monday tragedy.
It wasn't as if everyone was just standing around and doing nothing to try and save her.
"They were going down and down and down and down. (It was) very frantic, very frantic," witness Pat McNamee told WFTV Channel 9.
Another neighbor, Trent Vesely went in with his surfboard. He was upset that he couldn't save her, despite diving and swimming to her driver's side window some 12 feet deep where the water was very murky and visibility difficult at best. but she remained in the vehicle despite his efforts.
"Prayers to her and her family and I'm sure she's in a better place," Vesely said, overcome with grief and choking back tears. ""It was a tragic accident, and I'm sure God will take her. Her window was halfway down, made it worse, but like I said, she was unresponsive when I got to her. I was trying to wake her up or whatever. I was trying to get the seat belt you know... but the water pressure with the door, it was not happening."
"Prayers to her and her family and I'm sure she's in a better place," Venetian Bay resident Trent Vesely said, overcome with grief and choking back tears after he was unable to rescue 26-year-old drowning vic5im Sarah Marx from her submerged car in 12 feeet of water.
"It was a tragic accident, and I'm sure God will take her. Her window was halfway down, made it worse, but like I said, she was unresponsive when I got to her. I was trying to wake her up or whatever. I was trying to get the seat belt you know... but the water pressure with the door, it was not happening."
New Smyrna Beach police said Marx apparently lost control of her car on Airport Road and struck a curb and light pole before the sedan shot into the pond and then turned on its passenger side once it was fully submerged and got stuck stuck in thick mud at at an angle.
It took divers, with the help of two tow trucks, several hours to pull her sedan from the murky waters few hours to remove the sedan from the murky lake.
The victim was strapped in her seat with more than one window partially open, which filled the car's interior pretty quickly, but she was already unconscious and possibly dead when several neighbors jumped in before police and firefighters arrived, along with a Sheriff's dive team a few minutes later.
Police said the car likely overturned and got wedged into the mud on its passenger side side.
"Responding police officers were also unsuccessful in rescuing the young woman from the sunken car," New Smyrna Beach Police Sgt. Eugene Griffith said. "The water was estimated to be 12 feet deep, with limited visibility."
The dive team made its way to the car very quickly, but getting it and the victim back onto land proved to be an involved process that took several hours because of the muck at the bottom.
The tragic drowning of Sarah Marx comes in at No. 27 in the HeadlineSurfer.com yearlong countdown of the top 100 stories of 2014.
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